I once saw my grandmother pass out from a bite of too-spicy mustard one of her buddies offered her in competition. She ran restaurants in upstate New York in the ’60s and ’70s. There was a bar, some booths, a pool table, and usually wood paneling. The places were witness to the gamut – from wedding receptions to bar room brawls.
Dear Inga is the handwritten letter you have been meaning to write to your grandmother. The restaurant's new design builds on an impeccable existing space, previously designed by Studio Terpeluk — inhabiting it with new playfulness, conversation, and color.
We designed this space to support the dining vision of David Golovin, and a menu centered around wood-fire, smoke, and creative fermentation. The restaurant’s name is tribute to David’s grandmother. Rather than gutting the existing space we wondered — what would it feel like if Inga moved in?
The dining room and bar are lit by the warm glow of a family of custom wooden lights, designed to make use of the Guanacaste lumber from the previous casework — now resawn into hundreds of slats to create the diffusers. Banquet seating along the east edge is lit by simple bulbs on a newly textured surface with a bead board wainscot. Both wooden and marble tables have colorfully painted patchwork tops.
From the colorful bathroom tile, to the delicate ornate ceiling stencils, we pay homage to what anyone’s contemporary Eastern European Grandma might have done.